I’ve been spending almost all my waking moments this week coordinating robotics camp for the youth development students at the YMCA. A while back, my Cuso International Program Manager here in Jamaica, Roberta, found out about this amazing robotics program for youth. She investigated it, did all the paperwork, and gifted the YMCA (thanks to grants from the Government of Canada) with an incredible week-long program for 25 of our students, along with ongoing support to continue the program throughout next school year.

The robotics kits, as well as all the instruction at camp this week, are provided by KB Robotics and the Kimroy Bailey Foundation. Kimroy Bailey is a young Jamaican who excelled in robotics and decided to give back to his country through investments and installations of renewable energy and robotics technology. The curriculum gives students the chance to learn all the skills necessary to design, code, construct and operate small robots during a week-long day camp, and then they continue to modify them throughout the year, under instruction from their regular teachers.

This whole week, the students have revelled in hands-on education in the newest technology, incredible mentorship from one of Jamaica’s kindest innovators, and started to learn the basics of mindfulness and self-awareness thanks to facilitated sessions from the Jamaica Professional Youth Workers’ Association, who are moderating the camp for us. On top of all that, the students get a full lunch and healthy snack every day.

Hopefully I can share more about the results and the final few days once everything is wrapped up (on top of another day of robot-building, we still have a showcase/open house on Friday, and a field trip to Manchester Parish on Saturday!), but for now here are a few photos to show how amazing this program has been for our students so far. None of these photos are staged! I just sneak up on them and they don’t notice because they are totally consumed with the program…

Figuring out how to install the lights
The students are totally transfixed when Mr. Bailey is teaching
Group learning in practice – checking out each other’s Sketch Up drawings
Total concentration